How well do you know your skin? Get real world answers from our in-house skin expert Dr Pravin Banodkar as he tells us everything you need to know about caring for Acne Prone Skin! We did a quick Q&A with him.
Dr Pravin Banodkar
Q. Can you name a few skincare ingredients that clog pores and aggravate acne ?
A. Especially thick, occlusive, synthetic ingredients like lanolin, cocoa and shea butters, oleic acid, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and heavy moisturizers. All can aggravate acne
Q. What causes those tiny bumps on the foreheads? How is it different from Acne?
A. Tiny bumps on the foreheads are whiteheads and blackheads. They are an early stage of Acne. These become inflamed due to dead cells that line the hair follicle and bacteria play an added role to increase the inflammation
Q. What should be an acne prone person's daily skincare regime?
A. A person with acne prone skin should use an exfoliative face wash daily followed by toner and a sebum or oil regulating cream in the morning . At night the person can use a light water based moisturizer to prevent drying the skin. The person should apply some exfoliating gel like benzoyl peroxide once at night on the acne area.
Q. Does chemical exfoliation help acne ?
Yes , chemical exfoliation helps acne. Beta hydroxy acids are oil-soluble molecules. Thus, they can reach deeper into the skin and pores. They also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties—a more in-depth exfoliation in general. This type of chemical exfoliator is recommended with those with acne-prone, oily skin. If blackheads are a concern, stick to BHAs.
Q. What are the different stages of acne?
The stages or grades of acne vary from mild to moderate to severe .
Mild acne is non-inflammatory acne and is also known as comedones . These are blackhead and whites heads seen on the skin. Acne in moderate forms is inflammatory. They usually consist of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules. As compared to mild ones, their openings are larger and cover more areas on the face and other parts of the body.
Severe acne happens when the nodules and cysts are severely inflamed. It consists of a mixture of inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions, usually characterized as reddened pustules and possibly cystic lesions over 0.5cm in diameter with a soft top losing inflammation widespread. This kind of severe skin condition if left untreated could lead to permanent scarring.
Q. At what stage of their acne should someone seek professional guidance and not self diagnose and medicate?
Once their acne are covering more than 10 % of the skin area on the face they should meet their doctor. It is best not to self diagnose and medicate as we see many patients in clinical practice using topical steroids provided to them by ill informed persons and that destroys their skin.